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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A diversified mission of astronomy, commercial space research and International Space Station preparation gets under way as the Space Shuttle Columbia climbs skyward from Launch Pad 39B at 2:55:47 p.m. EST, Nov. 19, 1996. Leading the veteran crew of Mission STS-80 is Commander Kenneth D. Cockrell; Kent V. Rominger is the pilot and the three mission specialists are Tamara E. Jernigan, Story Musgrave and Thomas D. Jones. At age 61, Musgrave becomes the oldest person ever to fly in space; he also ties astronaut John Young’s record for most number of spaceflights by a human being, and in embarking on his sixth Shuttle flight Musgrave has logged the most flights ever aboard NASA’s reusable space vehicle. The two primary payloads for STS-80 are the Wake Shield Facility-3 (WSF-3) and the Orbiting and Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer-Shuttle Pallet Satellite II (ORFEUS-SPAS II). Two spacewalks also will be performed during the nearly 16-day mission. Mission STS-80 closes out the Shuttle flight schedule for 1996; it marks the 21st flight for Columbia and the 80th in Shuttle program history.
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